The Myth of Renewables and Energy Independence
No, this is in no way true. Americans can install a million turbines coast to coast, solar panels over all of the desert, and geothermal plants on every thermal reservoir they can find and we still have no guarantee of energy independence. Why? Because energy independence in the US (and much of the world today) is not in any way tied to fuel reserves, technology or fuel type. Energy independence is what the government allows its citizens to have. The governments of most industrialized countries pass laws and regulations that limit the amount of energy that is permitted to be produced without importing fuel and manufactured goods from other countries.
Let us assume the million turbines are well on the way to being installed. America has almost reached energy independence. Wait--there is a problem with the rare earth refining in this countryŚradioactive water release. So there will be no more refining rare earth metals in the US. Now the magnets for the turbines will again come from China, who may decide we are building turbines too fast and raise the price on the magnets or limit production. There goes our "independence". Then the manufacture of solar panels results in several chemical spills at plants. No more manufacturing certain panel parts in the US. Now they have to be imported, once again creating energy dependence.
The reserves of oil, coal, natural gas, uranium and other fuels for current energy production methods exist all over the US. The government has dictated that we will not use these resources but instead buy from foreign countries (the Middle East oil used in the US is only a very small part of our total consumption, but politically, it serves to justify massive energy source shifts in this country). Nuclear power, while a clean fuel with marginal risk, is rejected on a regular basis. Not to protect people, since nuclear accidents are very rare and result in very few deaths. However, allowing nuclear power to be seen as the evil fuel of bomb makers, citizens are denied clean, abundant energy.
No type of technology or fuel source will ever make a country energy independent. The only way a country can achieve this is if and when their government allows the goal to be attained.